AIP News RoundUp – Episode 32 – Theresa Blissing and Michael Waitze – Hopefully, 2021 Will Be Less Crazy

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Michael Waitze has been podcasting with some of the best investors and business builders globally and discussing all things startup with them from an Asian perspective. Michael worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo. Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used successfully to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is quite skilled at connecting people and capital to innovative ideas and is a trusted advisor to both investors and founders. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, having pioneered the concept of a podcast network in Asia while building the biggest and fastest-growing listener base in the region. His flagship website, AsiaTechPodcast.com, has listeners in over 130 countries and is available on virtually every podcast player that supports RSS feeds.

Theresa is the founder of the Asia InsurTech Podcast and a Thought Leader on innovation in insurance in Asia. She has worked for ten years for leading multinational insurers in Europe and Asia before turning to management consulting and venture building with the goal of transforming the insurance industry and helping shape its future in the region.

December started with some major FinTech news. Grab-Singtel received the digital full-bank licenses issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Only two digital full-bank licenses and two digital wholesale were awarded to four of the 21 applicants. The AIP Team is wondering if a (re)insurance license will follow next!

Other major news is the partnership between AIA and ZA Tech. AIA Group is the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group with a presence in 18 markets in Asia-Pacific and ZA Tech is the technology arm of Chinese ZhongAn Insurance. The partnership aims to enable AIA to reach new customer segments with new innovative insurance products. 

In India, ICICI Lombard partnered with InsurTech Plum to develop tech-powered group health insurance. Listen to our episode with Abhishek Poddar, the co-founder, and CEO of Plum, here. And in Singapore, Carro and MSIG launched usage-based motor insurance to reward safe drivers. While telematics solutions have been around for some years now, we still haven’t seen a high adoption rate in Southeast Asia. 

UPDATE: The strategic partnership between ZA Tech and AIA is not a joint-venture, but a commercial agreement.

Other companies mentioned in this episode: PayTM, Wirecard, Coherent

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